In South Carolina, authorities can prosecute driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Unlike misdemeanors, felony DUI’s are issued when an inebriated driver engages in reckless driving or traffic violations that cause the death or great bodily injury of another. “Great bodily injury” is legally defined as an injury that causes “a substantial risk of death, serious or permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment” of a body part or organ. However, an injury does not necessarily have to be grotesque or involve mutilation to warrant a felony charge. Many juries and prosecutors qualify any injury suffered as “great bodily injury.” For example, one can argue that a broken leg results in “protracted impairment” of a body part and is therefore applicable to a felony DUI charge. For this reason, if you were involved in an accident while you were intoxicated that caused any injury, you could be vulnerable to a felony DUI charge.
As compared to a misdemeanor DUI, felony DUI’s have more serious and long-term penalties that can ruin one’s life. A conviction may leave you with a criminal record, hefty fine, and a lengthy jail sentence on top of civil penalties. The seriousness of such charges warrants the qualified counsel of a proficient felony DUI attorney. At Truslow & Truslow, we know how much is at stake with criminal charges. As such, we work to provide an effective defense for South Carolinians everywhere facing felony DUI charges. We can use our specialized understanding of South Carolina’s traffic laws to guide you through the legal process of this charge and determine the facts of your case.
After accumulating 12 points, the DMV could possibly suspend your license!
The consequences of a felony DUI conviction vary, depending on the extent of injury the victims sustained. DUI accidents that end fatally are prosecuted much more severely than those in which the victim survived. Additionally, a victim who does not die immediately, but later passes away due to injuries sustained from the accident, makes you susceptible to a felony DUI charge. The criminal penalties for a felony DUI might include:
Civil penalties may also include the suspension or revocation of a driver’s license. Additionally, felony charges mean that no amount of time in your sentence can be served through probation.
While this experience may be devastating, obtaining a knowledgeable DUI attorney could be the best decision you can make right now. At Truslow & Truslow, our legal team has spent decades fighting criminal DUI cases, and we have the knowledge and understanding to advocate on your behalf. If you are facing felony DUI charges, contact our Columbia offices at (803) 256-6276 to receive support in your case.